SA Journal of Education, Vol 40, No 4 (2020)

The resourcefulness of school governing bodies in fundraising: Implications for the provision of quality education

Melanie Buys, Pierre du Plessis, Raj Mestry


With the promulgation of the South African Schools Act of 1996, public education in South Africa was decentralised and communities were made responsible for school governance. This placed the responsibility on school governing bodies (SGBs) to take all measures within their means to supplement state funding for the acquisition of adequate human and physical resources. In this article we explore various fundraising initiatives that will increase the coffers of public schools. Funds provided by donors and sponsors should allow SGBs the discretionary powers to appropriate funds that will promote effective teaching and learning in schools. The perceptions and experiences of principals and SGBs on the management of funds were investigated by means of a qualitative multiple case study. Findings reveal that SGBs have to take an entrepreneurial stance towards supplementing funds provided by the state. In addition, there are serious challenges surrounding school fees such as bad debt and fee exemptions, and this necessitates SGBs to find other sources of revenue. Thus, based on best business practice, SGBs should be given autonomy and take accountability for the management of private funding within the legal framework of the South African Schools Act.

ORCiD iDs of authors:
Melanie Buys -
Pierre du Plessis -
Raj Mestry -

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